Gene therapy technique may help prevent cancer metastasis: Gene-regulating RNA molecules could help treat early-stage breast cancer tumors before they spread - (Science Daily via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Study data published in the journal Nature Communications describe a gene therapy technique that could potential prevent metastasis from breast cancer, Science Daily reported Wednesday.

  • "The idea is that if the cancer is diagnosed early enough, then in addition to treating the primary tumour [with chemotherapy], one could also treat with specific microRNAs, in order to prevent the spread of cancer cells that cause metastasis," said study author Natalie Artzi.

  • In the study, the investigators performed an extensive bioinformatics analysis to compare three datasets, identifying a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), named rs1071738, which influences metastasis.

  • The researchers uncovered that the SNP disrupts binding of miR-96 and miR-182, which in turn prevents the microRNAs from regulating expression of Palladin.

  • In an in vitro analysis, the investigators demonstrated that expression of the microRNAs suppressed Palladin levels, resulting in reduced migration and invasion by cancer cells.

  • The research team confirmed the findings in mice in which miR-96 and miR-182 were delivered via nanoparticles, observing a dramatic reduction in breast cancer metastasis in the animals, while the addition of cisplatin resulted in reductions in both primary tumour growth and metastasis.

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